Friday, November 3, 2017

Henry Evil Roy .22LR Rifle

Henry Evil Roy .22LR Rifle

When the Henry Rifles first re-appeared, the public enthusiastically embraced the brand and for good reason. Anthony Imperato and family have made it a passion to restore the Henry firearms name and even made it better in the process. The Henry rifles are beautiful to own, look at, and shoot. This Evil Roy .22 is yet another incredible rifle from Henry.

I have noted before that when it comes to Henry Rifles, there are only two types of people; those who have yet to shoot a Henry and those who have and now lust after them. Just as Ruger has arguable made one of the best updated single action cowboy revolvers, Henry has updated the Henry design to deliver something so refined that Benjamin Tyler Henry himself would have only dreamed was possible back with the original design. I love them and own several Henry rifles in .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and .22LR and this Evil Roy Henry seemed to be just the perfect gun to add to the collection.

The international winning CAS - Cowboy Action Shooter, Gene Pearcy with his CAS shooter AKA name of “Evil Roy” partnered up with Henry to create something a bit different in their line up. Evil Roy suggested taking the very popular Henry Golden Boy .22LR rifle but with a shorter 16.5-inch barrel, with a more durable plastic buttpad, a brushed nickel receiver and barrel band, and a shorter overall stock - a combination and/or slight modification of existing parts of various models. The result is a quick handling short accurate .22 LR rifle that is a blast to shoot.

The Evil Roy is at its heart a Golden Boy with a few configuration changes which include the nickel finish receiver with grooved scope rail, shorter 16.5-barrel, shorter stock, and plastic buttpad instead of brass.

Although I have no real complaints with my original Golden Boy, there were times where I felt the 20-inch barrel was a bit long. For new youth shooters, the full sized Golden Boy stock can seem a bit big for smaller shooters or from a maneuverability perspective. Enough people wanted a shorter barrel compact version that Henry offers the configuration in this Evil Roy model rifle with shorter barrel and stock.

The thought of a lever action rarely crosses many people's minds when shopping for a new rifle until they put one in their hands. The Henry Rifles draw you in, the fit feel and finish begin your mind’s journey back in time to the old West, and by the time you pull the trigger and rack in the next round as you watch your tin can dance, the hook is set so deep that a love affair of Henry rifles is inevitable. Someone once told me more Henry rifles are sold at the range than in gun stores... stores were just places you purchased them. Everyone falls in love with Henry rifles not only because of their history and quality, but also because they shoot and cycle exceptionally well.  Most people will say the same thing when they pick up a Henry, “they knew something about firearms and shooting back then.” The Evil Roy is a bit lighter than the Golden Boy but still retains the balance, pointability, and of course accuracy.

The Evil Roy is priced with an MSRP of $499 and is about $50 less than the standard Golden Boy.  It carries the same high quality features as their Big Boy brothers but in a slightly smaller package.  The Evil Roy rifles feature the same historic semi-buckhorn style rear sight, brass bead front sight, stunningly beautiful blued octagonal barrel, banded barrel, steel parts, and perfectly finished American walnut stock. It also add a large action charging loop versus the smaller loop. The big brother has a solid brass receiver, the Golden Boy a Brasslite receiver and the Evil Roy has a nickel base alloy receiver but is also grooved for a .22 scope mount.

The Henry Evil Roy tube magazine holds 12 rounds of you favorite .22LR ammo or up to 16 of the spooky quiet  22 Short/CB rounds.  That is a huge ammo capacity by any standard which makes the Henry Evil Roy a blast to shoot up box after box of inexpensive 22LR ammunition. The Evil Roy  feeds and fires anything from a .22CB all the way to hot .22LR high velocity rounds.  For the hunter, the capacity negates any reasonable need for constant field reloading.  The reload does takes a bit longer than a magazine change but is simple enough and requires the magazine spring tube pulled partially out and rounds slipped into the tube. One company makes a speed loader if you are so inclined, but I just use a ⅜-inch aluminum tube with a stopper as a speed loader.

The next point I feel I must make is how fast the Henry Lever actions shoots.  Shoot the Henry Evil Roy next to a semi-auto 22 and you will be surprised how well you keep up the pace and then of course you also have a few extra shots with 22LR over typical 10-round magazines. The large loop helps a bit to improve speed and accommodate gloved hands a bit better. The action is safe and simple to operate, shoots faster than a bolt action and slows the beginners (and old) shooters down enough that shots connect more consistently connect due to better sighting.  Lever actions are also far less dirty than their semi-auto cousins because gas is not being blown back during the cycling process. Due to the cleaner cycling, lever actions are also more reliable as the shooting action goes on and round counts and fowling goes up.

From a safety perspective, the simplicity of the transfer bar safety prevents accidental firing when decocking/lowering the hammer.  The Henry Rifles have what I term as a "single-action revolver safety" which negates the need for additional thumb or finger safeties. From a hunting perspective, having the ability to safely have a live round in the chamber and only requiring the hammer to be cocked prior to a shot makes this a very safe rifle to carry for hunting... all without a bunch of needless safeties.  As the rifle’s lever is racked, a new round is automatically chambered and the hammer is cocked... it all could not be simpler.

The Henry Evil Roy  rifle is an easy gun to shoot accurately with just the semi-buckhorn sights, but adding on the 4X Burris Micro scope delivered some nice little ¼-inch 25-yard groups with SK Standard and CCI Standard Velocity rounds.

Once you start shooting and see how well the Henry Evil Roy shoots, you start to forget about shooting bulls-eye targets and start hammering spinners and cans and start looking for squirrels.

The front brass bead front sight works great. The rear semi-buckhorn is also highly functional, but just not favorite.  My plan is to swap the rear sight with a historically fitting brass Skinner peep sight which I have on several of my other Henry Rifles.

My only wish was that this little rifle included a well executed threaded barrel for use with my suppressors. If Henry could offer this rifle with a nigh matching Hex thread protector, I think it would be a perfect little gun for use with a suppressor without any noise from a cycling semi-auto action.

At first I was not sure at first whether I would shoot it as much as my Golden Boy, however with the flexibility to pop a scope on and off really adds a lot of utility and ups the precision.  

Every time someone wants to start shooting I start with the Henry rifles. They are safe, simple and non-threatening for anyone to use and with the shorter length stock it is also a kid friendly rifle to use for training. This is one heck of a family oriented rifle that everyone loves and it is that universal appeal that is special about the Henry Evil Roy. From 8-80 year olds, both male and female all get excited over shooting it fast, slow, and everything in between and it truly is a family rifle that everyone enjoys pulling out and shooting.  No need to be bad or evil, everything about this gun is not just good but great.

Henry Evil Roy .22LR
Model Number H001TER
Action Type Lever Action
Caliber .22 S/L/LR
Capacity 12 LR/16 S
Barrel Length 16.5"
Barrel Type Octagon Blued Steel
Rate Of Twist 1:16
Overall Length 34.25"
Weight 5.50 lbs.
Receiver Finish Black
Rear Sight Fully Adj. Semi-Buckhorn w/ Diamond Insert
Front Sight Brass Bead
Scopeability 3/8" Grooved Receiver
Stock Material American Walnut
Buttplatepad Plastic
Length Of Pull 13"
Safety 1/4 Cock
Best Uses Target/Hunting/Small Game
Embellishments / Extras Evil Roy logo on stock and Large Loop Lever
M.S.R. Price $499.95


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